I couldn’t believe that they wanted me to play Hide and Seek with them. My brother and his friend never included me. I was 7 years old and just happy that my 11 year old brother realized that I was breathing that day. As they counted I ran to my secret- If they ever ask me to play I will use this – spot.
I heard my brother finally call- “Ready or not here I come.” After the first couple of minutes I was convinced that I had the best spot yet. I could hear our friend Robbie’s dismay as Steve found him. I was still under cover 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 minutes. It finally got to the point that I couldn’t hear their voices anymore. I began to think- I shouldn’t be this hard to find.
Suddenly it hit me- They didn’t want to find me. They really didn’t want me in their game. I was alone. I was never going to be found. I had been abandoned. This was about 33 years ago but I can still remember that pain in the pit of my stomach when the realization hit me.
Romans 11:2-4 reminds us of the story of Elijah who was playing Hide and Seek with God. He had just come off of one the greatest victories of his life and what was he doing? Hiding out! He was feeling abandoned after one of the greatest victories in his life- conquering the prophets of Baal.
2. God did not turn his back on his chosen people. Don't you remember reading in the Scriptures how Elijah complained to God about the people of Israel? 3He said, "Lord, they killed your prophets and destroyed your altars. I am the only one left, and now they want to kill me."
4But the Lord told Elijah, "I still have seven thousand followers who have not worshiped Baal."
The first week at my third- yes you read correctly- third Bible College I was frustrated, scared, and feeling alone. I put several quarters in the pay phone and prayed that my Mom or Dad would answer the phone since they were across the world. My Mom was there. Mom- I feel alone- I hate it here, I’ll never fit in, why did I make this decision? I must have missed the voice of God. My Mom quickly told me I was fine. I was not alone- I Just hated change. Sure enough the feeling passed. A couple of days later I began to realize that others probably felt the same way and it was up to me to make the best out of the situation.
How many times in transition and change in our lives have we felt unsure, alone, and hurt?
- The first week of college.
- Moving into a new dorm, apartment, or home.
- Knowing that your parents have just returned to the “field” and you are not with them.
- Starting a new job.
- Leaving your family vacation to face school, your job, and responsibility again.
- Knowing that your parents are no longer missionaries.
- Trying to fit in and find your spot in a new church.
The list could go on and on. We may feel alone- but we are never abandoned. Jesus understands exactly how we feel. The Bible tells us of a time when he felt alone, misplaced and abandoned. He was praying at the garden- literally carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and his best friends were sleeping. How could they not even hang out with him during his last hours? To be there for him? Then later on one of his closest friends denied three times that he even knew him.
So what do we do when we face these times? It just a matter of time and all of us have felt this way before. Here are four things that will help:
1. Grow deeper in your relationship with Him. This sounds like a “no-brainer” but the enemy will use times of aloneness and hurt to attack your walk with the Lord. Concentrate on spending even more time in prayer and in the Word. Become active in the church that the Lord has placed you in.
2. Stay in contact with your family and God-centered friends. Be open with them. Let them know what you are going through and how you feel. Surround yourself with Godly friends that will encourage you to get closer to Him. Don’t underestimate the power of two or three agreeing and praying over matters in your life. Use email, Skype, or other internet tools to be in contact with those “foundational” people in your life.
3. Talk to your local Pastor or MK Ministries team about an accountability partner. Be accountable to someone in your life. Have someone that will be a positive influence and who will be there to ask the “Hard Questions”.
4. Realize that feelings are just that- feelings. How much time are you spending worry over situations that have not even happened? Wasted time spent playing and replaying scenarios in your mind. The Bible tells us to think on things that are true, honest, have virtue, and are praise worthy. Don’t base major life decisions on feelings- but on facts. Feelings change- He does not. Remember that 90% of your worries never come to pass.
Finally remember that our walk with God is a daily one. It may be a hard day today but tomorrow will get better. Reach out to your family, friends, and MK Ministries team are all there for you! . We love you and know that God has great things ahead in your life. Anyone up for a game of Hide and seek?